Football Features

Man Utd 1-3 Brighton: Player ratings as Pascal Groß torments Old Trafford once again

By Harry Edwards

Published: 17:02, 16 September 2023

Manchester United’s 20-game unbeaten home streak in the Premier League was brought to an end by a 3-1 defeat to Brighton.

After a bright start from Man Utd, Danny Welbeck gave the visitors the lead against the run of play, tapping home from close range against his former club.

The Seagulls were 2-0 up inside 10 minutes of the second half with Pascal Groß netting against Man Utd again, and Joao Pedro made it three shortly after coming on.

Hannibal Mejbri pulled a goal back just moments later but it proved to be just a consolation strike as Man Utd’s unbeaten run home came to an end.

Here’s how the players rated at Old Trafford:

Manchester United

Andre Onana – 7 – Although he picked the ball out of his net three times, Onana did actually keep the scoreline down with a few good saves.

Diogo Dalot – 7 – Went down really early after a tough tackle from Lamptey but he didn’t let that hamper his game. A really good performance from the full-back, keeping Mitoma very quiet. Although, the one moment he did let Mitoma have some time on the ball, Brighton scored.

Victor Lindelof – 4 – Didn’t look strong enough in Man Utd’s defence and was done by Lallana’s dummy for the opening goal.

Lisandro Martinez – 5 – Perhaps could have done better to stop the cross for the opening goal, and his partnership with Lindelof wasn’t one to bring confidence. Did produce a good tackle to stop a mazy Welbeck run.

Sergio Reguilon – 8 – Like Dalot on the opposing flank, Reguilon is one of just a few Man Utd players who can come out of this game with their heads held high. He kept his side on lock with good defending and got forward when he could.

Casemiro – 4 – A really poor game from the Brazilian who is usually playing at a high standard. Was so close to Welbeck in the build up to the Englishman’s goal but then just let him run away. Left space open for the second goal too.

Scott McTominay – 4 – While a lot of the blame will be on Casemiro, McTominay didn’t track Welbeck’s run into the box, instead jogging to the edge of the area.

Bruno Fernandes – 4 – He really didn’t have an influence on the game, being played out wide. Was booked on the stroke of half time for a foul that was definitely borne out of frustration. Dropped deeper in the second half when the changes came but it meant he was the man to allow Joao Pedro to make it three, not following his man.

Christian Eriksen – 4 – Showed some lovely footwork in the early stages when Man Utd were in control. But when Brighton stepped things up, he got lost a little in the midfield.

Marcus Rashford – 7 – This was such a weird game for Rashford. He was brilliant to start off with, the most dangerous attacker on the pitch, using his footwork to terrify the Brighton defence. Van Hecke in particular struggled but then Rashford seemed to make the wrong decisions, looking to take on Van Hecke all the time, when teammates were in better positions. In the end it proved costly in attack. Thought he had an assist in the first half but he had just taken the ball out of play.

Rasmus Hojlund – 6 – It was a rusty start to life at Old Trafford with a few opportunities wasted. The first was a header way over the bar from a free-kick and the second he just couldn’t get onto the end of Rashford’s cross. The third opportunity he had, Hojlund had a lovely first tough to take a ball that was slightly behind him and then finished coolly with his second. Unfortunately it was ruled out as the ball had gone out in the build up. His departure was greeted by boos, but not for him, for Erik ten Hag’s decision.


Hannibal Mejbri (for Casemiro 64) – 6 – Pulled a goal back with a rocket of an effort. Looked to be one of the few Man Utd players really up for it late on.

Anthony Martial (for Hojlund 64) – 4 – You could have easily forgotten he was on the pitch.

Alejandro Garnacho (for Reguilon 85) – N/A – A late sub.

Aaron Wan-Bissaka (for Martinez 85) – N/A – A late sub.

Facundo Pellistri (for McTominay 85) – N/A – A late sub.

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Jason Steele – 7 – Looked comfortable but was well beaten by Hannibal’s strike.

Tariq Lamptey – 8 – Was booked inside five minutes for a bad tackle on Dalot, but had a fantastic game after. Bombed down the flanks and ended the match with two assists. The first was a neat pass to set up Groß, and the second a good pull back to Joao Pedro on the edge of the box.

Lewis Dunk – 8 – Looked really strong defensively, in a good battle against Hojlund.

Jan Paul van Hecke – 7 – Struggled to deal with Rashford the first 30 minutes of the match but then realised how he could stop the Englishman. Constantly showed Rashford to the line, eventually making him run out of pitch, as he did for the disallowed goal. A great example of a player learning on the job.

Joel Veltman – 6 – Got forward far too much in the first half, which left Van Hecke overrun at times. Probably the one Brighton defender that didn’t have his best game.

Pascal Groß – 9 – Absolutely ran the show. Bossed the midfield in a stadium he is beginning to really love. Groß kept the Brighton midfield ticking and helped them turn things around after a slow start. Got the goal to top off his performance with a lovely shimmy to get past Martinez.

Mahmoud Dahoud – 8 – Helped to defend when Brighton opted to sit back in what was a decent performance. Completely dominated the Man Utd midfield.

Simon Adingra – 7 – Alongside Veltman, he left Brighton overworked on the left flank defensively at times. But he put in a good cross that found Welbeck for the opener, and was always a threat going forward.

Adam Lallana – 8 – Great awareness to dummy Adingra’s cross, with Welbeck behind him for the opener. Worked tirelessly in the midfield, and Brighton looked slightly less comfortable when he came off.

Kaoru Mitoma – 5 – Although he was involved in the build up for the second goal, Mitoma really wasn’t in the game.

Danny Welbeck – 8 – Opened the scoring against his former club with a tap-in after getting involved in the build up. Dropped very deep into a midfield three when Brighton were out of possession, which helped make things very difficult for Man Utd. A great performance.


Ansu Fati (for Lallana 64) – 6 – Should have made it four late on but was denied by a good save.

Joao Pedro (for Welbeck 64) – 6 – Came off the bench to make it 3-0, finding space on the edge of the box.

James Milner (for Lamptey 77) – 6 – Rating text

Billy Gilmour (for Dahoud 77) – 6 – Rating text

Evan Ferguson (for Adingra 85) – N/A – A late sub.